What is the IBI and who should pay it?

So, you’re close to buying your new property here in sunny Alicante. Before you research where’s the best place for Pinchos you’re probably going to want to know about IBI. What is IBI, I hear you ask. Well, IBI is the annual tax you must pay to the council, it’s basically Spain’s equivalent to council tax in the UK. It stands for Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles, which translates to tax of stationary goods. Every year, on January 1st, Alicante City Council will charge the IBI to whoever the property is registered to.


So, what happens if you sell your home on January 20th? Will you have to pay the IBI for the whole year when you’ve only been there for 20 days during that year’s rotation? Well, yes and no.

Yes, because the city council requests the tax from the holder on January 1st of every year. Saying that you have only been in possession of the property for 20 days of that year will not make you exempt from paying.

On the other hand, the Supreme Court allows for an agreement between both the selling and buying party. The person who pays the IBI to the city council will be entitled to ask for the remaining cost from the other party if there is an official agreement in place.

This is where we come in. In cases where our client is the seller, we include in the private contract that on the same day of the sale the proportional part of the IBI will be paid in cash or check and vice versa.


The IBI is calculated using a band system and will be rated in relation to the value of your property (based on its title, lease details, condition, construction cost, size, location and improvement costs). This will be recorded at the Catastral Registry, which is a central record agency, usually located in the town hall. If you want to know your property’s value, you can find this on your IBI bill or via your online banking receipt.


In Alicante you will pay your IBI through SUMA. There will be a reference number and NIE tax number on your bill from them. To pay, simply go on their website and with the information on the bill, you can pay online using your credit or debit card. Alternatively, you can pay over the phone or in a SUMA office.

Main Office

Calle Pintor Aparicio 32 1B , 03003 Alicante Spain
Tel: +34 965 92 12 71

Fax +34 965 92 89 74

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